Skip to main content

Function meets style: 8 phenomenal eat-in kitchen decorating ideas

The kitchen is the heart of the home. You want it to feel warm and inviting, whether you’re cooking, entertaining, working, or catching up with family at the end of the day. If you have an eat-in kitchen, that’s just one more consideration when laying out the flow and design of the space. You want to make sure there’s enough room to easily access the table and space to serve guests while still allowing for natural traffic flow in the rest of the room.

We’ll highlight eight stunning eat-in kitchen designs to get your imagination flowing for what could be possible in a kitchen remodel or redesign for your home. These eat-in kitchen decorating ideas will help you get started, depending on your kitchen’s size and your budget.

blue and tan color palette in midcentury modern kitchen with geometric tile backsplash
Image used with permission by copyright holder

What is an eat-in kitchen?

An eat-in kitchen is a place in your kitchen where you can sit down and enjoy a meal. It is considered more casual than a formal dining room. Many people who built houses in the past decade did so without a formal dining room because they preferred a more casual feel when eating and entertaining. Eat-in kitchens can take many forms, from banquettes to breakfast nooks to seating around a kitchen island. If you have a large kitchen, you could put a kitchen table in as well. However you and your family are comfortable eating meals together is how you should design it!

Image used with permission by copyright holder

What are some options for eat-in kitchens?

If you are a family that’s always on the go, an eat-in kitchen provides the flexibility and convenience you need.

Opt for a corner nook

We love a corner nook banquette with bench seating on one side, so people can slide in and out and feel comfortable while they eat. These are great in galley kitchens at the end of the room next to a big window.

Add a long table for versatility

If you’ve got a wide, large kitchen and don’t need the storage or prep space of an island, swap it out with a long kitchen table instead. You’ll still have the flow around the table itself and can easily grab whatever you need from the fridge or surrounding countertops. Plus, the table can easily be moved depending on your needs. Hosting a large function and need to change the layout to accommodate everyone? No problem.

If you don’t have as much space, choose minimalist furniture like kitchen chairs or a bench that can be tucked underneath the table for more room.

Go for unique shapes

If you don’t have a perfectly square room or are short on space, think about a unique kitchen table shape to get the most out of the space. We love long, oval tables with bench seating on one side and chairs on the other, which work in a more narrow room.

Embrace a monochromatic palette

Another option to consider if you want the room to feel more spacious is selecting a monochromatic design in which your island or kitchen table matches the chairs (think all ivory countertops, tabletop, and chairs). This allows you to highlight other decor in the kitchen rather than focusing your attention on large furniture.

Invest in the details

To add to the comfort of the space, make sure you have an area rug underneath the eating space to give it a warm and inviting feel. Overhead, choose a decorative chandelier or pendant lights that will give you plenty of brightness when you eat and gather. Finally, connect the table decor to the rest of your kitchen with similar colors and styles so the spaces tie together. Once you’re done, you’ll have a casual, cozy space to work, eat, and play.

BM_27 / Shutterstock

Options for an eat-in kitchen island

We love gathering around a kitchen island to eat. Making sure it’s cozy is all in the placement of the furniture.

  • If you don’t want to sit all in a row, add an island with half of it built as a table, so chairs can face each other and then tuck underneath when not in use.
  • If you are replacing your island countertop, consider one with a rounded end so people can face each other more easily.
  • Finally, make sure the seating itself is comfortable — we love barstools with back support that provide enough cushion that you can sit and stay awhile.

The goal is to make where you eat fit as seamlessly as possible into your overall kitchen design. That means something different to everyone, but having an area that can be used for both eating and prepping, like a kitchen island, makes the room feel cohesive. Similarly, if you decorate a banquette bench with pillows and other textiles, it can transform into a space for kids to do homework or you to work when you’re not eating.

Editors' Recommendations

Julie Scagell
I am a freelance writer based in Minneapolis, MN. My passions include my dogs, talking about my dogs, and taking pictures of…
What colors go with gray? How to make a neutral hue pop in your home
Make gray walls work for your home decor with complementary colors
Modern living room with gray walls and yellow furniture

Neutral colors like gray and taupe are always popular options for your home's interior design. Both are versatile shades that can go with a plethora of other hues, which means you can easily change up the look of your decor with gray walls and a rotating rainbow of accessories like colorful throw pillows. With all the different shades of gray paint available, from matte to glossy, warm to cool, and brownish to blueish, it's certainly possible to find the one that's perfect for you and your home.

Of course, you can always have too much of a good thing. While gray can be a sophisticated and elegant shade, too much gray can wash out a room or make it feel dull and dingy or cold and unwelcoming. Think of gray as the neutral backdrop on a canvas that lets your color palette shine, and you can't go wrong. So, it’s important to incorporate other colors into the decor, whether it be with pieces of furniture, art, or throw blankets -- but what colors go with gray? If you're looking for the best options to brighten up your current decor, keep reading to find out how to accent this elegant tone.

Read more
7 striking yellow kitchens on Instagram that prove this hue is design gold
Yellow is an ideal color for the kitchen. Here are a few ideas to help you style this bright tone
yellow kitchen cabients

If you're in the mood for a kitchen redesign or remodel, you may be considering introducing a new color into the mix. While we love a crisp, white kitchen, yellow (in all of its lovely shades) is making itself known to designers and homeowners alike. A yellow kitchen is bright, sunny, and cheerful, the perfect combination for a room where everyone gathers to play, eat, and work. If you're in love with the hue but wondering what you do with a yellow kitchen, we've got some ideas. If you need some inspiration, look no further than these Instagram designs to get you in the mood to transform your kitchen space.

Is yellow good for a kitchen?
We adore the color yellow for kitchens. There are so many shades to suit your personal taste, and the hue can completely transform the look of the space. There are so many ways to incorporate yellow — from wall color to cabinets to wallpaper and everything in between. Here are a few of our favorites.
Mustard yellow cabinets
The before-and-after pictures tell it all in this kitchen remodel. The yellow color opens up the space to give it a warm, welcoming feel. The simple decor, white walls, and understated backsplash allow the color to shine on its own.

Read more
How to keep oak kitchen cabinets from looking out of place in a modern kitchen
Transform your outdated oak kitchen cabinets for a luxe, modern design
Modern kitchen with red oak cabinets and white countertops

Oak kitchen cabinets are a staple in many traditional homes. Their earthy tones and elegant appearance have placed them at the top of the ladder, making them one of the most beloved cabinet materials in recent decades. While this wood has stood the test of time in interior design, keeping an oak-heavy kitchen from looking out of place in a redesigned home can be challenging. Oak cabinetry often caters to traditional decor, making it hard to implement these gorgeous tones and textures into a more modern or contemporary space.

If you’re a modern enthusiast who wants to maintain the traditional oak cabinet look without creating a tacky design, then we have the tips for you. Here’s how to dress up your kitchen to balance modernity with traditional oak cabinets.

Read more